As growing numbers of children from lesbian mother families enter the Australian education system, there comes with this an injunction to better include such families. The first step towards such inclusion should be to ensure that teachers are provided with knowledge about lesbian mother families that moves beyond simply refuting stereotypes, and towards acknowledgement of the specific experiences and needs of this family form. However, it is important that educators, when attempting to include lesbian mothers and their children, do not instantiate new norms when attempting to challenge old stereotypes. This paper reports on the development and application of a workshop aimed at providing education students at one South Australian university with a framework for understanding lesbian mother families that is critical of norms in all their forms, including amongst those who research lesbian mother families. It is suggested that the positive findings from the workshop may reflect the utility of challenging both heteronormativity and homonormativity in conjunction with one another so as to present students with a broadly critical approach to sexuality education.
- lesbian mother families
- teacher education